Holywell Springs Surprise in Pertemps Final
1 Holywell 25/1
2 Captain Sunshine 11/1
3 Jetson 10/1
4 Shutthefrontdoor 6/1
5 Berties dream 33/1
24 ran Distances: 1½l, ½l, 1¼l
TIME 5m 59.92s (slow by 18.92s)
Jonjo O'Neill made The Festival scoresheet for the first time this year when Holywell sprang a 25/1 surprise in the Pertemps Final with his seemingly more-fancied stablemate Shutthefrontdoor, a 6/1 chance, coming fourth.
"It was brilliant and I thought we were in front a bit too early but Richie (McLernon) gave Holywell a great ride and it all worked out for us. The blinkers obviously helped because he travelled well and jumped well," said O'Neill, winning the race for a fourth time.
"I thought the ground had dried out a bit too much for him to be honest but it didn't seem to be the case anyway. It's not easy winning at Cheltenham but it's lovely when you do win.
"Shutthefrontdoor did everything well but was a bit novicey at a few jumps - a bit big and bold - and they other horse is cute and a good handicapper - they are two nice horses.
"Richie had a grand position from early on, he jumped really well and travelled really well. The only time we were getting worried was when he was upsides coming down the hill because it's a long way from home and he does idle in front a bit. The blinkers helped him today. He kept rallying when he hit the front.
"Richie knows the horse and he gave him a couple of cracks to keep his mind on the job. Everything went right, so it was great.
"The handicapper hasn't missed him this season but everything went right for him today - the run around and he also jumped great.
"Richie is a great lad and a great horseman. He knows his horses well and he said after Haydock that this horse may need a little bit of headgear - he ran a great race there and it was heavy ground. I am glad that everything went right.
"Shutthefrontdoor jumped a bit novicey at a few but he ran a great race. I didn't see any negatives there at all and he is a lovely horse to look forward to next year when he'll make a lovely chaser."
It was O'Neill's 22nd Festival winner and fourth in the Pertemps Final.
Paul Smith, whose mother Gay owns the winner, said: "I'm so pleased for my mother who has put a lot into the game in the last few years. We had Black Jack Ketchum who won here a few years ago in the same colours."
McClernon, an Irishman based in the Cotswolds with trainer Jonjo O'Neill, who trains Holywell for Gay Smith, said: "I was privileged to ride a winner here last year, but this is even better."
He then referred to the late Campbell Gillies, the jockey who died in a swimming pool accident last summer. McClernon said: "At this meeting last year Campbell Gillies was here - he's not here now, but he's looking down on us. He'll never know the winning feeling again and I'm very lucky to do so. We're in a lucky game and a great sport."
Holywell, who was bought by O'Neill for £70,000 at Brightwells' Cheltenham Sale in November 2011, wore blinkers for the first time. McClernon said: "I said to the boss I'm going to jump out and make it, and the blinkers definitely helped because he really jumped and pinged every hurdle. I thought we went steady so when I kicked for home I was afraid something might do us for toe - when he heard them coming he went again.
"I knew he would stay and he tries his heart out. He's by a good sire in Gold Well, and they really try their heart out. He battled to the line. He's not ungenuine, but the blinkers just help him a little bit.
"I looked through the declarations yesterday and was delighted to be on him - A P has first choice on everything in the yard and was riding for Mr McManus [on fourth-placed Shutthefrontdoor], and I was lucky to slot in."
There were different reactions from the trainers of the pair who followed Holywell home in the Pertemps Hurdle Final. Emma Lavelle, who saddled length and a half runner-up Captain Sunshine (11/1), was happy and delighted with the seven-year-old's effort.
"He is just so game," she said, "He tried his heart out and just came up against a better handicapped horse. We couldn't be more pleased with him and we'll try to find something for him at Punchestown."
Jessie Harrington, though, was left ruing thwarted passage through the race of 10/1 shot Jetson, beaten half a length into third place. "He was stopped on top of the hill," she said. "Something was dropping back in front of him taking him back and Robbie [Power, jockey] just couldn't get out.
"By the time he did, it was all too late. The horse finished like an absolute train, and we're delighted with him. But it was all a case of what could have been."
Pertemps Final (Listed Handicap Hurdle) £80,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m, Class 1 24 ran
Good to Soft (GOOD in Places)
R P McLernon
25 - 1
Miss E C Lavelle
P J Brennan
11 - 1
1 1/2 length
Mrs J Harrington
R M Power
10 - 1
A P McCoy
6 - 1
1 1/4 length
H de Bromhead
A E Lynch
33 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
C E Longsdon
20 - 1
1 3/4 length
50 - 1
D T Hughes
D N Russell
14 - 1
Mr B Gibbs
100 - 1
D T Hughes
B J Cooper
33 - 1
Dr R D P Newland
33 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
Miss V Williams
28 - 1
E J O'Grady
M P Walsh
40 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
P J Hobbs
33 - 1
P F Nicholls
20 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
L A Dace
J E Moore
50 - 1
P J Hobbs
M G Nolan
50 - 1
P F Nicholls
4 - 1
12 - 1
1 1/2 length
A J Honeyball
16 - 1
Miss E C Lavelle
D C Costello
40 - 1
1 1/4 length
Top Of The Range
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
8 - 1
PERTEMPS FINAL (HANDICAP HURDLE)
2012-WINNER-CAPE TRIBULATION 8-10-11 Owner-J David Abell; Trainer-Malcolm Jefferson; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-14/1
2ND-Catch Me 10-10-09 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-14/1
3RD-Cantlow 7-10-08 Owner-R V Shaw; Trainer-Paul Webber; Jockey-Dominic Elsworth; SP-33/1
4TH-Houblon Des Obeaux 5-10-09 Owner-Mrs Julian Blackwell; Trainer-Venetia Williams; Jockey-Aidan Coleman; SP-33/1
24 ran, Time-5m 44.30s; Dist-¾, 1¼ 1¾ 11/2 Fav Our Father (15th)
2011-WINNER-BUENA VISTA 10-10-03 Owner-Matt Archer & the late Jean Broardhurst; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Conor O’Farrell; SP-20/1
2ND-Son Amix 5-10-06 Owner-Whitechurch Stud Syndicate; Trainer-Tom Cooper; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-16/1
3RD-Sivota 7-10-07 Owner-Second Go Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-9/1
4TH-Knockara Beau 8-11-12 Owner-W F Trueman; Trainer-George Charlton; Jockey-Jan Faltejsek; SP-33/1
23 ran, Time-5m 40.10s; Dist-4, hd, 10 6/1 Fav Chartreux (13th)
2010-WINNER-BUENA VISTA 9-10-01 Owner-Matt Archer & the late Jean Broardhurst; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Hadden Frost; SP-16/1 2ND-Prince Erik 6-10-08 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Robbie Power; SP-16/1 3RD-Chamirey 7-10-04; Owner-Sir Robert Ogden; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-28/1 4TH-Cross Kennon 6-10-03 Owner-P & Mrs G Clarke; Trainer-Jennie Candlish; Jockey-Alan Keeffe; SP-16/1 24 ran, Time-5m 49.10s, Dist-5, hd, 1½ 11/4 Fav Alfie Sherrin (12th)
PERTEMPS FINAL (HANDICAP HURDLE) ROLL OF HONOUR (Pertemps Final since 2002, Ladbrokes Casinos Final
2001-2000, Stakis Casinos Final 1999, Unicoin Homes Gold Card Handicap
Hurdle 1998, Hamlet Extra Mild Cigars Gold Card Final 1997, Hamlet Cigars
Gold Card Handicap Hurdle Final 1996 & 1994, Astec Vodafone Gold
Card (Final) 1995, American Express Gold Card Final 1993, Coral Golden
Final 1978-1992, Joe Coral Golden Hurdle Final 1974-78)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2012 Cape Tribulation 8-10-11 Denis O’Regan Malcolm Jefferson David Abell 14/1 24
2011 Buena Vista 10-10-03 Conor O’Farrell David Pipe Matt Archer & the late Jean Broadhurst 20/1 23
2010 Buena Vista 9-10-01 Hadden Frost David Pipe Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst 16/1 24
2009 Kayf Aramis 7-10-05 Aidan Colemen Venetia Williams Isobel Phipps Coltman 16/1 22
2008 Ballyfitz 8-10-08 Paddy Brennan Nigel Twiston-Davies Fred & Wayne Mills 18/1 24
2007 Oscar Park 8-10-09 Tom Doyle David Arbuthnot George Ward 14/1 24
2006 Kadoun 9-11-07 Tom Ryan Michael O’Brien IRE J P McManus 50/1
2005 Oulart 6-10-02 Paul Carberry Dessie Hughes IRE Ged Pierse 10/1 22
2004 Creon 9-10-00 Timmy Murphy Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 50/1
2003 Inching Closer 6-11-02 Barry Geraghty Jonjo O’Neill Nicola
Spence 6/1F 24
2002 Freetown 6-11-02 Tony Dobbin Len Lungo Susan Blumberg and S Nairn
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Rubhahunish 9-11-02 Carl Llewellyn Nigel-Twiston-Davies Lone Star
Racing Partnership 8/1 24
1999 Generosa 6-10-01 Norman Williamson John Hassett IRE Mrs Trish Hyde
1998 Unsinkable Boxer 9-10-12 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe Paul Green 5/2F
1997 Pharanear 7-11-09 Mr Robert Thornton David Nicholson Stainless Threaded
Fasteners Ltd 14/1 24
1996 Great Easeby 6-10-01 Richard McGrath Wilf Storey David Batey 7/1
1995 Miracle Man 7-10-11 Peter Hobbs Colin Weedon Patrick Evans 9/2F
1994 Tindari 6-10-09 Paul Williams Malcolm Jefferson Yorkshire Racing
Club Owners Group 20/1 32
1993 Fissure Seal 7-11-04 Charlie Swan Harry de Bromhead IRE Delton Syndicate
1992 My View 8-10-04 Jason Titley Michael Purcell IRE Mrs Seamus Purcell
1991 Danny Connors 7-10-12 Mark Dwyer Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus
1990 Henry Mann 7-11-09 Tony Mulholland Simon Christian Lynn Wilson 20/1
1989 Rogers Princess 7-10-00 Shaun Keightley Martin Tate R C Smith 8/1JF
1988 Pragada 5-11-00 Richard Rowe Josh Gifford Mrs M G L McGlone 16/1
1987 Taberna Lord 6-11-05 Luke Harvey Jim Wilson R Jackson 10/1 31
1986 Motivator 6-10-07 Graham McCourt Mick Ryan Terry Ramsden 15/2F 31
1985 Von Trappe 8-10-06 Richard Dunwoody Michael Oliver P Clarke 12/1
1984 Canio 7-10-09 John Francome Ron Hodges David Ladhams 20/1 31
1983 Forgive N'Forget 6-11-06 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald T Kilroe Ltd
1982 Tall Order 8-10-02 Andy Stringer Louis Foster Louis Foster 15/1
1981 Willie Wumpkins 13-10-08 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington
1980 Willie Wumpkins 12-10-07 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington
1979 Willie Wumpkins 11-10-04 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington
1978 Water Colour 9-10-01 Kevin Whyte Martin Tate J Soles 11/1 23
1977 Outpoint 7-11-03 Pat O'Brien Fred Winter Mrs G Abecassis 10/1 27
1976 Good Prospect 7-11-10 Richard Evans John Edwards T Dudley 10/1 17
1975 Saffron Cake 6-10-07 Eddie Wright Les Kennard P Haynes 13/1 24
1974 Kastrup 7-10-03 Graham Thorner David Barons Austin Darlington 10/1
The Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) was introduced to The Festival in 1974, replacing the George Duller Handicap Hurdle. Until 1993, it was run under the Coral banner. Other sponsors since then have been American Express (1993), Hamlet Cigars (1994 & 1996), Astec Vodafone (1995), Hamlet Extra Mild Cigars (1997), Unicoin Homes (1998) and Stakis Casinos (1999). Ladbrokes inherited sponsorship in 2000 after acquiring Stakis Casinos and Pertemps took over in 2002.
The race now has a safety limit of 24, and a maximum field has lined up in 13 of the past 16 renewals, but 31 runners took part in 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1992. The smallest field was 17 in 1976 when Good Prospect won at 10/1.
Good Prospect defied 11st 10lb in 1976, while Rogers Princess and Creon both won with 10st on their backs.
Willie Wumpkins entered Festival folklore with three consecutive victories between 1979 and 1981 when aged 11, 12 & 13. Wiilie Wumpkins won four races in all at The Festival because he was also successful as a five-year-old in what is now the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle. Buena Vista is the only other multiple Pertemps Final winner, scoring in 2010 & 2011 when aged nine and 10 respectively.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Jane Pilkington, trainer of Willie Wumpkins, has the accolade of being the joint-leading trainer alongside current handler Jonjo O’Neill, whose three wins came through Danny Connors (1991), Inching Closer (2003) and Creon (2004).
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Amateur Jim Wilson rode Willie Wumpkins to all three of his wins. No current jockey has won the race more than once.
There have been five Irish-trained winners - My View (1992), Fissure Seal (1993), Generosa (1999), Oulart (2005) and Kadoun (2006).
There have been two 50/1 winners in recent years, with Creon in 2004 and Kadoun in 2006 scoring for the bookies. Forgive N’Forget (1983) and Unsinkable Boxer (1998) both prevailed at odds of 5/2.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) is the final of the Pertemps series. The scheduled qualifiers for the 2012/13 season were - Cheltenham (October 19), Aintree (October 28), Auteuil (November 4), Kempton Park (November 5), Exeter (November 14), Newbury (November 30), Sandown Park (December 8), Cagnes sur Mer (December 17), Wincanton (December 26), Leopardstown (December 29), Cagnes sur Mer (January 6), Warwick (January 12), Pau (January 13), Huntingdon (January 25), Pau (February 3), Punchestown (February 3), Carlisle (February 6) and Haydock Park (February 16).
Forgive ’N’ Forget is the only totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner to have won the Pertemps Final, beating 22 rivals in 1983 and going on to take the Gold Cup two years later.